Keeping a healthy diet during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. The food you eat is your baby’s main source of nutrition. Choosing a variety of foods from the different food groups will provide the vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy pregnancy. These tips are from Leah Britt, Certified Personal Trainer on maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy.
Grains: Substitute sugary cereals and white bread for whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole-grain bread. Look for products that list whole grains, such as whole-wheat flour, first in the list. Try new grains such as Quinoa, Bulgur Wheat, Millet, or Spelt
Fruits and Vegetables: Pregnant women should try to eat 7 or more servings of fruits and vegetables combined (for example: 3 servings of fruit and 4 servings of vegetables a day). Fruits and Vegetables are critical components of pregnancy nutrition, since they provide various vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber to aid digestion. Vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables such as, strawberries, melons, oranges, papaya, tomatoes, peppers, greens, cabbage, and broccoli, helps you absorb iron and promotes healthy gums for both you and your baby. Dark green vegetables have vitamin A, iron and folate – other important nutrients during pregnancy
Protein from Meat: poultry, fish, eggs and beans: Foods in this group have plenty of protein, as well as B vitamins and iron. Protein is crucial for your baby’s growth, especially during the second and third trimesters. These sources of protein contain B vitamins (especially B12) and iron
Dairy products: The calcium in dairy products and calcium-fortified soy milk helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. Dairy products also have vitamin D and protein. Pregnant women should try to eat 4 or more servings of low fat or non fat milk, yogurt, cheese or other dairy products every day. Pregnant women need 1,000 mg of calcium each day. Other sources of calcium include dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and tofu. If you are lactose intolerant or can’t digest dairy products, you can still get enough calcium. Try calcium-fortified orange juice. Experiment with lactose-reduced or lactose-free products. Use an over-the-counter lactase enzyme product when you eat or drink dairy products
Water: Water is not technically a nutrient, but it is vital to your body’s functioning and will also keep you from swelling too much. It can also help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and urinary tract or bladder infections. Drink at least 10 cups (or about 2.3 liters) of water or other non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic fluids to keep hydrated and carry nutrients throughout your body